This weekend we were in a party haze, especially my daughter. It wasn’t something we consciously decided but circumstances created. Friday night sleepover, two birthday parties on Saturday where she knew only the Birthday girl, get together on Saturday night with another family, Birthday party on Sunday and Oscar party on Sunday night. My daughter is 6. Not 16 but 6. By the end of the Oscar party she was totally overstimulated and it showed.
I totally got it. I knew what was making her crazy and I knew why she lost her mind the minute we got home and started yelling and eventually crying. But my husband didn’t. Maybe it’s a girl thing? Not only was her dad embarrassed by her public display of frustration but he could not understand why she couldn’t control herself. This, bizarrely, was after a frustrated outburst of his own directed toward her. My husband is very calm. He hardly ever yells. So when he does it is usually the result of holding in some major frustration and ends in an explosion. This is exactly what happened on Sunday.
My daughter was freaked out which only added fuel to an already very healthy fire. I just couldn’t get how a 40 year-old man could be so irritated with a 6 year-old who couldn’t control her emotions when he had just lost it himself. I get the fact that she was losing control and I get the fact that it was beyond irritating but I also know that we shouldn’t have been so surprised and we should actually have been impressed that a) she held it together until the end and b) she faced some major stuff this weekend – sleeping over at a house she had never slept at before, going to two parties where she knew almost no one without complaint. Big deals when you’re 6.
However my husband is convinced that she “has to learn” and he is concerned that her behaviour is outside of the scope of normal so, I ask you, fellow moms, what do you think? Should I be concerned? Should I address her behviour and follow-up with consequences? Are emotional outbursts a sign of something more sinister? Please, help me put this in perspective because maybe he’s right and I’m not seeing it clearly.